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Crossing Over Sea and Land: Jewish Missionary Activity in the Second Temple Period Paperback – 1 Jan 2010


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About the Author

Michael F. Bird (Ph.D., University of Queensland) is lecturer in theology at Crossway College and honorary research associate at the University of Queensland in Australia. He is the author of Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission and The Saving Righteousness of God: Studies on Paul, Justification, and the New Perspective. He is also co-moderator of the New Testament blog "Euangelion."

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Succinct Survey of the Sources 22 April 2012
By D. E WARD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It is known that early Christianity (1) was a sect of Judaism; and (2) had a strong emphasis on evangelism from the beginning. This raises a question: Did Christianity inherit its evangelistic emphasis from Judaism, or was this emphasis a trait that distinguished Christianity from the rest of Judaism?

Bird's book gives a succinct survey of the relevant ancient sources and also summarizes today's scholarly discussion on this question. Largely in agreement with Scot McKnight and Martin Goodman, Bird concludes that first-century Judaism (1)defended itself in the ancient marketplace of ideas; (2) was open to Gentile converts; but (3) didn't have an organized "missionary" outreach to the pagan world.

At the end of the book, Bird hints that Christianity's distinctive emphasis on evangelism can be attributed to the teachings of Jesus and its conviction, based on those teachings, that the time had come for the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecies about the nations joining Israel in the eschatological kingdom of God.

The book includes a convenient "sourcebook" of relevant quotes from primary sources like Josephus, Philo, the Talmud, Greco-Roman writers, and the New Testament.
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